Rob Buscher is a film and media specialist who has worked in many aspects of cinema including production, administration, and distribution. Due in part to his biracial Japanese-American heritage, Robʼs expertise is Japanese and East Asian Cinema although his work as a professional film programmer has expanded to include a wide variety of diverse cinema genres. Since 2014 Rob has served as the festival director at Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, the largest Asian-American and Pacific Islander film festival on the east coast. Career highlights include co-founding Zipangu Fest -- the UKʼs premier Japanese Film Festival, and creating the Japanese Cinema Studies and Asian-American Studies curriculum at Arcadia University. Rob also teaches at University of Pennsylvania and Fleisher Art Memorial, and is a contributor to the Japanese-American national newspaper Pacific Citizen. Visit paaff.org or pacficcitizen.org to read more about his work.
By this Author
Lulu Wang’s ‘The Farewell’ and the duality of mainstream success
Saying hello to true racial equity—onscreen and off
What happens when white-dominated spaces control access to films created by and starring nonwhite artists? Can films like ‘The Farewell’ truly advance a more diverse and equitable society? Rob Buscher considers.
Does a new ‘One Thousand Paper Cranes’ film eclipse people of Japanese heritage?
Who should tell this story?
A newly announced film about the beloved story of Sadako Sasaki and her paper cranes raises questions about who should tell this Japanese story—the white director and actors slated to anchor the movie? Rob Buscher considers.
PhillyCAM's 2018 Cammy Awards
The Cammies zoom in on Philly
The second Philadelphia Cammy Awards celebrated PhillyCAM's diverse, dynamic community access television and radio heroes. Rob Buscher considers.
Aneesh Chaganti and Sev Ohanian's 'Searching'
Searching for a daughter, finding a new paradigm
Aneesh Chaganty's mystery drama 'Searching' might be the first film for and about the digital age. Rob Buscher reviews.
The triumph of 'Crazy Rich Asians'
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival's #GoldOpen
The 'Crazy Rich Asians' filmmakers started a grassroots campaign to buy out theaters and ensure a successful opening weekend for this landmark Asian-American movie. Rob Buscher considers.
BlackStar Film Festival and HBO present Terence Nance's 'Random Acts of Flyness'
HBO gets super fly
Terence Nance's 'Random Acts of Flyness,' which premiered at the BlackStar Film Festival, brings short video sensibility to a season-long HBO series. Rob Buscher reviews.
The crazy importance of 'Crazy Rich Asians'
A big first step
'Crazy Rich Asians' might not have the empowering message of 'Black Panther,' but it could still empower a generation of Asian American filmmakers and moviegoers. Rob Buscher considers.
'Blindspotting,' by Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs
Between masks and labels
Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal's 'Blindspotting' falls between comic buddy flick and horror movie but lands on a cultural moment, with gentrification and police violence as tense catalysts. Rob Buscher reviews.
Israeli Film Festival and Penn Middle East Film Festival present 'Longing' by Avi Gabizon
Longing for more
Avi Gabizon's 'Longing' brings a stunning performance and careful camera work to the Israeli Film Festival and Penn Middle East Film Festival. Rob Buscher reviews.
qFlix film festival presents 'Voyage,' by Scud (Danny Cheng Wan-Cheung)
Into the great beyond
The qFLIX festival presents Scud's 2013 film 'Voyage,' which uses beautifully filmed vignettes to examine suicide and sadness around the world. Rob Buscher reviews.
Women's Film Festival presents 'A Fine Line,' by Joanna James
The Women's Film Festival brings 'A Fine Line,' Joanna James's look at female chefs, to its lineup. Rob Buscher reviews.
Will Asian Americans get their 'Black Panther' moment?
'Black Panther' through an Asian American lens
Asian Americans have yet to enjoy a major U.S. film breakthrough on the scale of 'Black Panther,' but that might be okay. Rob Buscher considers.
A critical look at the critics of PAPA's 'Tiger Style!'
The show we've been waiting for
Did the non-Asian critics who reviewed Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists' production of Mike Lew's 'Tiger Style!' miss the point? Rob Buscher considers.
Institute of Contemporary Art presents 'Broadcasting: EAI at ICA'
Digital killed the video star
The Institute of Contemporary Art's 'Broadcasting: EAI at ICA' examines video art and the pop-cultural detritus that comes with it. Rob Buscher reviews.